GHS soccer teams open ‘24 season with mixed results

GHS soccer teams open ‘24 season with mixed results

Photos By: Peggy Barger

Both Greenwood High School soccer teams have waded into their 2024 schedule hoping for a playoff berth at the end of the road in May, but their early results have been a mixed bag. The GHS boys have posted a winning record so far at 6-3, and the Lady Bulldogs are 2-3 overall. But both squads are 1-2 in 5A West conference play. They will take off for spring break next week before returning to action at home against Siloam Springs on Tuesday, March 26. They will travel to Mountain Home two days later on Thursday, March 28.


Head Coach Tyler Woods recently commented on his team’s early play, including the impact of an unfortunate season-ending injury to a key player, senior Carson Hobbs. “We have played a few non-conference games, a tournament, and three conference games,” summarized the coach.

“Losing Carson Hobbs really hurts us,” he continued. “He broke his leg in the Heavener game and had surgery to repair some torn ligaments. I hate it for him, but it's next man up, and [senior] Peyton Presson has been a really nice addition from basketball. [Senior] Kaleb Marsico and [junior] Braycen Austin have both filled the outside back position that Carson left.

“We lost our two conference games to the two best teams in Class 5A, Russellville and Van Buren,” continued Woods. “We battled tough in those games, but they are very good. We got our first conference win and a big three points [in the league standings] last night at Harrison, 1-0. [Senior] Bodey Steinfeldt scored the only goal.

“We come back and play two big games when we return [from spring break] against Siloam and Mountain Home. Both will be crucial for seeding and points for the conference standings,” said Coach Woods, who is hoping to get his Bulldogs back to the playoffs for the first time since 2018.

The GHS boys opened their regular season slate with a home match against Heavener, Oklahoma on February 26th, but it ended in a 3-1 loss for the Bulldogs. The match was tied at 1-1 at the intermission, but the visitors took command with two second-half goals while Greenwood was held scoreless over the last 40 minutes. Hudson Meeker scored the lone goal for the Bulldogs with freshman Landon Franklin credited with the assist.

Three days later the ‘Dogs got their first win of the new season, hosting and beating Subiaco Academy, 4-0. Scoring goals for Greenwood were Tucker Wooten, Bodey Steinfeldt, Corbin Lamb, and Hudson Meeker. Wooten and Steinfeldt are seniors while Lamb and Meeker are juniors. Peyton Presson and junior David Coggin (2) had assists.

On Saturday, March 2nd, the Bulldogs hosted a tournament at Smith-Robinson Stadium and went a perfect 3-0 with victories over Huntsville (4-2), Gentry (4-1), and Cossatot River (3-0). Scoring for Greenwood against Huntsville were Tucker Wooten, Landon Franklin (2), and Corbin Lamb. Kaleb Marsico, junior David Coggin, and Peyton Presson all had assists.

Against Gentry the Bulldogs got goals from David Coggin (2), freshman Ben Alsup, and Hudson Meeker. Peyton Presson had a pair of assists and David Coggin had one. Against Cossatot River three players had one goal each. They were Landon Franklin, Tucker Wooten, and David Coggin, who was also credited with an assist.

After a long day of tournament play on Saturday, the GHS boys returned to non-conference action against Haas Hall Academy two days later on Monday, March 4th, winning 5-1. They got two goals from promising ninth-grader Landon Franklin and solo goals from Tucker Wooten, Hudson Meeker, and David Coggin. Wooten (2), Coggin (2), and Peyton Presson all contributed assists.

Greenwood lost to the Russellville Cyclones, 2-0, in their conference opener on the road at Russellville on Thursday, March 7th. The Russellville boys are the two-time defending state champions in soccer having won the crown in both 2022 and 2023. The competition was just as tough last Tuesday, March 12th when the Van Buren Pointers came to Smith-Robinson Stadium, beating the Bulldogs, 6-1. The Pointers were the last team other than Russellville to win the state championship in 2021, beating the Cyclones in the finals. Hudson Meeker and David Coggin combined for the only GHS score in the match, with Meeker getting the goal and Coggin the save.

Last week’s conference match at Harrison was advanced 24 hours to avoid the expected thunderstorms forecast for Thursday. So, the Bulldogs and Goblins played a rare Wednesday contest resulting in a 1-0 GHS win with Bodey Steinfeldt accounting for the winning goal, assisted by David Coggin.

Lady Bulldogs

The GHS ladies have played fewer matches than the Bulldogs, going 2-3 overall through five contests, three of which were conference matches. They own wins over Heavener (OK) and Van Buren, losing to Bentonville-West, Russellville, and Harrison. Head Coach Andrew Post is hoping to build on last season’s playoff appearance, their first since the 2018 season, and he has an experienced lineup returning this spring.

As previously reported, the Lady Bulldogs defeated Heavener in their season opener, 5-0, with goals by sophomore Mariah Bartok, senior Abbey Gatesman (2), and junior Ally Thomas (2). Greenwood led 4-0 at halftime. However, the Greenwood girls lost their next two matches by identical 5-0 scores at Bentonville-West and Russellville, the latter being their conference opener.

But the Lady Bulldogs returned to Smith-Robinson Stadium on Tuesday, March 12th, to notch a 5-2 victory over the Lady Pointers of Van Buren. Greenwood led 3-0 at the intermission. Scoring for Greenwood were Mariah Bartok (2), Ally Thomas (2), and sophomore Farrah Crossno. Like the GHS boys, the Greenwood girls played their match at Harrison last Wednesday, losing 3-1. Abbey Gatesman scored the only GHS goal.

Coach Post offered his observations about his team through their first 2½ weeks of play. “We are getting better each week as a team,” he said recently. “Our back line and keeper positions seem to improve every single game. The offense has shown that we can put the ball in the net. Through the first three conference games we have six goals. That’s more than last year through three games. I’m pleased with where we are heading.”

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